Putting Fun Into Scifi
Author Website of Phyllis K Twombly Latest Title: Martian Divides
Martian Glossary

American Refill Café: Located in downtown Martianville this is the historic landmark café where Kelly Ravell, the Martian matriarch, first came to the attention of the Martian community. As its name suggests, the American Refill (or 'the 'Fill' as it's sometimes called,) sports combinations of red, white, and blue in its décor. Small vases contain miniature American flags on each table.

Been Blued: refers to what happens when the symbiont detects a female who's willing to commit to a Martian (or human) husband. The symbiont temporarily turns the man's face blue and copies the woman's memories into his mind. The Martians lost their women to a space virus and had to rely on cloning for so long that they always used the phrase in the past tense. May occur regardless of whether the male or the female has the symbiont.

Blue Swirls: caused by the symbiont briefly turning a man's face blue when the symbiont recognizes his future mate. See also 'been blued; red swirls.'

Cloning: creating a genetic duplicate of a living (or previously living) person by using a DNA sample. In the Martian Symbiont sci-fi series, the process is also called reconfiguration. The Martians have overcome the inherent problems of premature aging and genetic breakdown for a 'cloning potential' of one hundred individuals. The limit has more to do with giving each clone his predecessors' experiences and memories in data downloads that 'fill up' the brain than it does with cell structure. Also called 'configuration' or 'reconfiguration.'

Companion File: an interactive file created by a previous matriarch to help any Martian man use his symbiont to understand what his mate needs. It also helps him cope with physical arousal and jealousy.

Configuration/Reconfiguration: terms used by the Martian community to refer to their cloning technology.

Coordinator: In the case of the Martian Symbiont sci-fi series, the coordinator is part of a system of checks and balances within the Martian community. His first priority is to ensure the matriarch's authority is exercised in keeping with the best interests of the Martian community. Most of his role is to ensure smooth relationship(s) between her and her husband(s.) In the interval when the Martian community lacked females, he became the next closest thing to a leader.

Double Bluing: Extremely rare, a double bluing happens when the symbiont also causes the woman's face to turn blue and she receives a copy of his memories in her mind. Extremes of behavior may follow.

Green Swirls: a sign the symbiont is not happy, green swirls in the skin indicate illness or abhorrent behavior. See also 'red swirls.'

Magma Net: an advanced, solar powered version of the Internet, capable of acting as a backup to planetary computer systems, but prone to problems created by bad weather, sunspots, and solar flares. It's used mostly by people who lack the Martian symbiont.

Martian: In the case of the Martian Symbiont sci-fi series, a Martian is one of a group that originally left Earth thousands of years ago. This group adopted the name 'Martian' for three reasons. First, they did use Mars as a temporary base before the planet was made unlivable by hostile aliens. Second, they thought the rest of mankind would eventually follow them into space and didn't want to be confused with a group that would probably call itself 'Earthlings.' Third, they found the idea of two cooperating intelligent species from a single solar system to be a tactical advantage; aliens who disliked humans were less likely to attack Earth if they thought Martians would always come to the rescue.

Martianomics: the new world economy that developed after two decades of knowing about Martians and other aliens. Based on trust, need, and desire, Martianomics seeks to provide for everyone, everywhere, in a spirit of goodwill. Money is considered only as relevant as the person using it deems it to be. People with the symbiont, the majority of mankind, regard cash with less and less actual value. Instead of being driven by need or greed, people with the symbiont take the place in society that 'feels right' for them and defer to others when they sense it's for the greater good.

Martian Symbiont series: The science fiction series created by Phyllis K Twombly. Current titles include Been Blued, Martian Blues, and Martian Divides. A fourth title is planned for release in 2010. In Been Blued an advanced group of people return to Earth because a space virus wiped out their women. In Martian Blues the humans and Martians work together to repel invasion by hostile aliens. In Martian Divides the Martians return to space while the underground attempts to undo their influence on Earth.

Martianville, USA: located on the Arizona/New Mexico border, Martianville is a picturesque city set between canyons, semi-arid desert, and the newly imported flora of northern climates. A thick forest just outside of town provides plenty of hiking and the opportunity to interact with some of the tamer wildlife.

Matriarch: In the case of the Martian Symbiont sci-fi series, the female leader of the Martian community. Although her authority is almost absolute, she is under the constant scrutiny of the Martian coordinator. The role is passed on to a daughter or granddaughter. Kelly Ravell had to assume the role without the benefit of a predecessor to instruct her. See also 'polygamy.'

Polygamy: the practice of having more than one spouse. In the Martian Symbiont sci-fi series, only the matriarch may practice polygamy. It's permitted to help her cope with the stress of leading the entire Martian community. In practice, a few of her assistants were also allowed to practice polygamy but little was ever said about it. Upon becoming the new Martian matriarch, Kelly Ravell declined to take additional husbands but the option remained open to her.

Purple Swirls: caused by the symbiont, a purple color in the swirls indicates some kind of trouble in a Martian individual or the community. See also 'red swirls.'

Reconfiguration/Configuration Technology: terms used by the Martian community to refer to their cloning technology.

Red Swirls: visible swirls in the skin of a human or Martian with the symbiont. These swirls indicate the path of the symbiont within the circulatory system but may disappear from view when the host doesn't want them to be seen. As a liquid life form, the symbiont can flow anywhere in the body and may not always cause visible red swirls. When recognizing a man's future mate, blue swirls briefly become visible in his face.

Rumirians: an extremely friendly species of alien who have the slogan, 'best hospitality in the galaxy.' Among themselves they exist as gelatinous blobs with oval appendages. When visitors arrive they take on the approximate form of their guests. Their single females tend to avoid alien contact as much as possible out of concern they'll be stuck in a form that prohibits them from a traditional Rumirian wedding ceremony. Rumirian curiosity is almost as well known as their hospitality. Questions may be downright embarrassing.

ScifiAliens: the online username most commonly employed by Phyllis K Twombly, creator of the Martian Symbiont science fiction series.

Smart Interface: the television show and e-zine 'hosted' by fictional character, Andrea Smart. Ms. Smart is a Martian who claims not to have the symbiont.

Symbiont: a life form dependent upon the life force of another living being for its survival. Unlike a parasite, it does no harm to its host; instead it gives its host some benefit that wouldn't be available through other means. In the case of the Martian symbiont, the symbiont exists in a fluid state and acts as an interface for telepathic communication among others who have a symbiont. It also allows a direct computer interface with more advanced computers.

Symbiont Interface: A bit of Martian technology that allows someone with the symbiont to access a computer directly with his or her mind. People without the symbiont still have to rely on keyboards and vocal commands. A computer with the symbiont interface has to be reset before it will allow access to someone without the symbiont.

True Humanity: a phrase developed by the underground to describe themselves and humans who haven't developed the symbiont. This excludes 'sympathizers,' humans without the symbiont who still like Martians.

Underground (group): Part of the small minority unable to develop a symbiont, the underground hates and fears the Martian community. They resent the inconveniences they're forced to deal with and don't trust people who have the symbiont.